Bill Maher Defends Acting (Because Actors Are Afraid to Do So)

Bill Maher’s performing resume is skinny, and he’d be the primary to confess it.

Maher’s skilled credit embrace internet hosting two politically-charged discuss reveals and performing stand-up over the previous three a long time.

Not too shabby.

In between, he repeatedly performed himself and headlined 1989’s “Cannibal Women in the Avocado Jungle of Death.”

So he’s an unlikely defender of the performing craft. He nonetheless rose to the career’s facet over the weekend on HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher.”

What impressed Maher’s strong protection?

Actor John Leguizamo attacked the workforce behind “Alina of Cuba.” The upcoming movie forged James Franco as dictator Fidel Castro, a transfer Leguizamo dubbed cultural appropriation in opposition to Latinos.

Various events weighed in on Leguizamo’s accusation, and the movie’s creators didn’t again down from the assault.

(Few, if any, talked about how accusations that Franco repeatedly used his star clout to benefit from ladies obtained pushed apart within the Culture War scrap)


Maher used that news cycle to elucidate why Leguizamo isn’t simply unsuitable however so are those that name actors taking elements exterior their life expertise “problematic.”

The phase, dubbed, “F*** tha Casting Police” in honor of N.W.A., discovered Maher mixing clapter with stable jokes to make his level.

“A lot of people are either apologizing for or calling on others to apologize for, playing roles they call ‘appropriation,’” Maher mentioned.

He shortly took intention at Leguizamo’s feedback.

“He ain’t a Venetian, but he played one. He ain’t a French little person or an Italian plumber but he played them, too … because he’s an actor,” he mentioned, his voice rising.

“That’s what acting is … that’s why acting jobs are called ‘roles,’” he mentioned.

“Can trans actors only play trans characters, because that’s not gonna be a good deal for them?” Maher requested earlier than higher explaining her bigger level. “Isn’t the perfect performing all the time about making us really feel our widespread humanity past our cultural identities?

“Why don’t we just go by merit and let the best actor win?”

Tom Hanks just lately mentioned he shouldn’t have performed the principle homosexual character in “Philadelphia,” a job which earned him his first Oscar.

“We’re beyond that now,” Hanks famously defined of that casting resolution, one he now regrets with out forking over a sure gold statuette.

“We’re beyond that… no, no, that implies progress. This is the opposite, it’s regression,” Maher mentioned, including range and inclusion now means, “everyone staying in their lane.”

It’s woke, Maher mentioned, persevering with his long-standing assaults on that cultural scourge. The woke mindset is immediately linked to liberalism, however not as Maher sees it.

An assault on performing appropriation “doesn’t build on liberalism. It undoes it,” he mentioned.

Maher even not directly defended, with a particular context, blackface. He talked about how creator John Howard Griffin, who was white, tried to be taught firsthand how black Americans expertise ’50s-era racism.

The experiment powered his influential book, “Black Like Me.”

But Griffin, a novelist of extraordinary empathy rooted in his Catholic religion, had devised a daring experiment. To comprehend the lives of black individuals, he had darkened his pores and skin to develop into black. As the civil rights motion examined varied types of civil disobedience, Griffin started a human odyssey by way of the South, from New Orleans to Atlanta.

“Today, all the woke mob would see about that was a guy who did blackface,” Maher mentioned.

He talked about how Steven Spielberg went out of his strategy to appease the woke mob along with his 2021 “West Side Story” remake, and the movie ended up “pleasing nobody.”

Maher added the unique musical was created by “three gay Jews,” – Steven Sondheim, Arthur Laurents and Leonard Bernstein.

To be honest, a couple of actors have spoken out like Maher has of their artwork’s protection. It usually comes after a concentrated assault on their particular movie selections.

Stanley Tucci defended his craft after naysayers complained that he performed a homosexual character in “Supernova” regardless of being straight himself.

“I think that acting is all about not being yourself. If we were to use that as a template, then we would only ever play ourselves. I think what we need to do, we need to give more gay actors opportunities.”

Few have mentioned it with as a lot power, and specificity, as Maher.

It suggests a vital follow-up query – why?

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